The Get Cleared Campaign of the Monroe Foundation is an initiative designed to create a pathway for the tens of thousands of returning citizens whose rap sheets and expungement records hold them back from acquiring jobs, homes and other economic opportunities.
GET CLEARED, ILLINOIS
The following describes one of the most immediate as well as one of the long-term structural goals.
Short Term Immediate Goal: Enlisting additional judges to sign orders for uncontested petitions on an ongoing, regular basis.
Per the Illinois expungement and sealing statute (20ILCS 2630/Criminal Identification Act) the only time the court is required to set a date for a hearing is if/when an objection has been filed.
If no objection has been filed discretionary relief is warranted so on a regular basis a pool of judges could sign uncontested petitions to expunge or seal. This would more immediately address a high volume of uncontested petitions that are still currently being heard by a presiding judge, and formally read into the record on scheduled court calls.
Long Term Goal: Having additional judges permanently assigned to hear contested petitions (those with objections) on more than two days a week.
With uncontested petitions being handled administratively, and additional court dates and judges to hear only those petitions that are required to be set for hearing, this would address both the current backlog and work towards lowering the current wait time of approximately one year for a petition to be heard.
Currently, one organization, Legal Aid Chicago has over 40 petitions pending that were filed between 11 and 14 months ago. To date, they have received no notice of objections or hearings on these petitions. They have over 75 petitions that were filed prior to March 2020 (over 8 months ago)
The COVID-19 testing site in Chicago’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood has moved to a new location at Foreman Mills, located at 79th Street and the Dan Ryan Expressway, due to the previous site’s hosts reopening for business.
State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) praised the governor’s administration for working quickly to ensure that the South Side and Auburn Gresham – one of the areas hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic and the first community in the state to lose a life to the disease – maintains a free, accessible testing site. Collins was vocal in her calls for a testing site in the neighborhood, which went without one until May.
“It is imperative that anybody who has reason to believe they may have been infected has access to free testing,” Collins said. “Particularly in communities where many are facing unemployment and a lack of health care benefits, this is key to our eventual victory over COVID-19.”
The new community-based testing site will make use of the nasal swab testing method – the slightly less invasive test. The site operates seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Testing is free to all, and no symptoms are required to qualify for testing. Results should be expected within four to seven days via phone call.
The previous testing site at Studio Movie Grill has ceased operations due to the business reopening. Collins urged those who seek a test to self-isolate until they receive results.